Sunday, May 31, 2009

"As two hands briefly touched, three lives irrevocably changed..."

Choose your photo. Choose your caption. It's Elmo (or his evil twin) in Times Square around 8:00 pm.


From Timekeeper:
* Photo #1: It's "Tickle Me" Elmo. Not "Tickle Yourself" Elmo.

* Photo #2: Sorry, Elmo. We asked for a Boy Toy like that guy there. Not a Toy for a Boy. Scram!

* Photo #3: Run, kid, Run! Do not accept a hug from that Muppet!

From Technoprairie:

*photo #2: Brad Pitt and Elmo. Two icons of manliness.

From Justcurious:

* Photo 1 - Mouth agape, the costume-wearing assistant manager was stunned to see Vito beginning the protection shakedown just minutes into the grand opening of Hotelmo.

* Photo 2--Elmo ticked! Elmo's contract promised Elmo would be the only freak around!

*Photo 3 - As two hands briefly touched, three lives irrevocably changed; Brittany's small town, preconceived notions about red haired monsters melted away, Elmo knew he no longer felt four years old, and little Bobby began to suspect that there was also no Santa.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Photos on the fly

What holds these photos in common is that I didn't look at the camera for either of them. With the first photo, my wife and I were walking down, oh, 42nd street (I'm making that up), and I noticed this woman striking a James Dean-like pose. I was holding my camera, and because I didn't want to weird the woman out, who was looking my way, I just took the photo by pointing it at her from normal walking position, with arms down. I hoped I was pointing in the right direction, and I was. So it was a lucky shot worthy of a spy. But because I didn't stop to take the photo but took it while walking, it's a little blurry. After we passed her, my wife told me that she was standing in front of the "No Soup for You!"-inspiring soup restaurant.

The other shot I took in Central Park. Unfortunately, my wife was ill so we couldn't explore the park by foot, but I still wanted her to see it. So naturally we hired a poor immigrant from Kaskakhstan to peddle us around on a two-person rickshaw. I found it humiliating, frankly, but it made for good stories which I'll share with you, my dear reader, when I find the time. Because as you know, I don't really do stories, only analysis, so when I get a good story I must share it. This will be the first story of the blog, and perhaps my life. So hold on. Anyway, after our poor immigrant friend pedaled us past Yoko Ono's pad, I saw this vendor, um, kind of letting it all out to bask in the sun. We were moving quickly--or at least quickly for a two-person bicycle rickshaw, and I didn't have time to turn on the camera and point and focus. So I took the camera and reached behind me as far as possible after we passed the dude and just clicked blindly.

Two blind shots. Sort of like Kobe Bryant. Yeah, I'm good that way. (Like Kobe.)

Friday, May 29, 2009


This is about as good as my photos get. I'm very happy with this photo as well as with the original below. It was evening and I was on our backyard porch. My daughter pushed on the screen door to come outside, and I noticed that when she pushed on the screen I just saw her hand for a split second--no body or face. So I ran to get my cameara and had her push on the screen again. Hands...ahhhhh.

taxi reflected in a revolving door

This is a photo of a taxi reflected in a revolving door, just as the title above ("taxi reflected in a revolving door") says. It says, "taxi reflected in a revolving door."

Taxi reflected in a revolving door.

reflected in a revolving door.

in a revolving door.

revolving door.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grand Central "Terminal"

Terminal. Station. Whatever. We all know what it is, okay. King Kong climbs up there and gets killed by Woody Allen.

That makes no sense. I'm so very sorry.

Here's why this photo is freaky. The station looks kind of off-horizontal. But it ain't.

Ooooh, MAgic!!

St. Patrick's Catherdral

As seen through foot-leve ornamentation at the "Top of the Rock."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Man (and pigeon)

Man soaking up the first warm Spring day in NYC: "Why won't that white boy leave me alone?! Enough with the photos!"

Pigeon: "And look at his sad sad camera. Pitiful. Apparently no one cares for his welfare."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009


Oh Muse!!! Sing in me and through me tell me the story...

From Timekeeper:

* Now that's disappointing!
* Objects on statue may be larger than they appear
* Say hello to my little friend!
* Ma'am, it really doesn't matter! No, it doesn't! C'mon!!

From Justcurious:

* Trust me, lady! They don't call me Iron Man for nothing!
* Relax. You won't feel a thing.
* "Meanwhile, turning to look at additional economic indicators, endowments are down, and at historically small levels."

From Jonbon:

* Trust me, lady! They don't call me Iron Man for nothing!
*Some are growers. And some are showers.

From Formerstudent:

* I'm not fat! I'm big boned! Well except for...


* Now that's getting down to brass tacks!

The extreme violence of metal

We create it. It ends us.

Woman next to giant ball with a jaggedy rip in it

It's time for a caption!!!!

Wait. This already has a caption. Nevermind. But keep bringing me captions below!! They're great. Formerstudent? Are you in the house? What? No love for a brother?

Reading a painting

Drat it all, tragically I mean "photo." What an inferior art form!! To paint...sigh. (Note: not a plea for art lessons. You can't polish a dead pig eye, as the ol' saying goes.)

But back to what I was saying. Do we read paintings from left to right or from right to left? I don' know about you, but I read them from left to right. The first painting says to me, "Whoooooshhhhh!" Its mirror image, the second photo, says "THUNK!!!" Launching vs. landing. Left to right, both.

Artists of the world: Set me straight.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dolls are cool!!

My sis-in-law (not the one of the American Doll hair straightener wisdom) gave me a wooden doll for Christmas a few years ago. It's the kind you see in the picture here. It's not the kind of doll you'd make fun of me for playing with; it's the cool kind that artists study to do sketches of the human form when they can't (or shouldn't) hire naked people to pose for them.

Dolls are great when you don't have access to naked people. That's always been a rule of mine.

"YKW" saw these dolls in the window, and since I've featured my doll on the blog before, I thought it would be great to feature twenty of them! The window display presented bunches of them in all sorts of poses, with some on ledges and faux "floors." So with the reflection of the city thrown captured too, it looks like they're hanging out on the buildings.

Dolls are cool.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Yes waitress, that's right -- one coke, two straws."

Okay, you know the drill. Give me your best stuff. You haven't disappointed me yet.

My shameless dude friends have an advantage here with a photo like this. For decades Andy has systematically disarmed all my points of defense against juvenile humor, and he now regularly exploits me against myself. And Paul Atkinson knows that I can't resist a good poetic double-entendre. (As though his entry even qualifies to "entendre" status.)

Males. Are. Ridiculous.


Andy D:

"And now, my dear lady, at the end of our wonderful evening together, allow me to introduce you to something I like to call, 'Little Marcel Chevalier'!"

"Allow myself to introduce, myself" (appearing courtesy of Austin Powers)

"I'm sorry but as you can see, this Club is 'Members Only.'"

This is odd but occurred to me for the ad/slogan for a new perfume, "Omen": "Omen, where the big O meets the little men."

"Viagra -- keeping your little demons up at night."

"Dr. Jekyll meets Stuart Little"

"Honey? Please google whether the Fruit of the Lomb guys have a heretofore unreferenced fifth team member?"

"Boy did I make a mistake using that third wish on simply 'having a friend I can talk to!'"

"Yes waitress, that's right -- one coke, two straws."

"You say the devil 'went' down to Georgia?.... I say 'he still in Georgia...'"

Steven Taylor:

"Rock me, Amadeus."


Coming this spring: Abu Ghraib chic.

"A little more to the left. Ah, that's the spot"

The threat of terrorism is larger and longer lasting than ever before.

"Stephen Donaldson"
Eat this Jonbon:

"KY Jelly...For the man inside all of us"
Paul Atkinson:

Giant Phantom Luv-Nub Scrub.

"The hood is for maintaining my dignity."


"When airport security checks finally go too far."
Me, as Al Pacino: "You want play with us? Okay, say hallo to my lil fren!!!"

Sometimes life is just so good. Sometimes it hands you something beyond your wildest dreams. I saw this building-sized advertisement within, oh, five minutes of arriving in NYC. I love that city. LOVE it!!

So there I was loving the city, getting in the way of pedestrians, snapping away photos, laughing out loud, just happy to be alive. Of course I had to wait for just the right moment where camera, oversized advertisement, and city worker were in perfect alignment. And now you have the fruit of my patience.

Life is good.


My wife and I went to NYC in March. Quite the story, there.

Hoo boy.

Anyway, at some point looking up at yet another gorgeous skyscraper, I said something like, "Gosh, I'm taking nothing but vertical photos. That's weird. I wonder why."

Long awkward pause.

"Umm...I didn't just that out loud, did I? The thing about the vertical pictures? You didn't hear anything about that, did you?"

Her: "Yep. You sure did. Right here in the middle of Manhattan you asked it. Nope, there's no going back on that one."


NYC, part 1 of about 3408

New aquaintance: So, your friend here says you're a photographer.

Me: Well, I don't know about that. I mean, I like to take photos, yeah. It's hard for me to say I'm "A Photographer." That's a little pretentious.

Mutual Friend: No, you're being modest. Your pictures are great!

New aquaintance: So what's your style? What kind of stuff do you do?

Me: Ummmm........ummmm........umm........reflections?? Is that a style? How about weird? Is that a style. That's a style, right? Umm....weird reflections? Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.


Get ready for some more reflections.

They're coming.

camera. flashlight. mouth.

Reader, why do you make me do this?

Completely disgusting.


Monday, May 11, 2009

My inner Munch.

I informed my wife this evening that I was going upstairs to post something on the blog. I assured her that there would be no more NOLA photos (i.e. death photos). To which she said, "Well, that's a relief."

I should just have the courage to let you sit on this photo without a back story. I don't have that kind of courage.

My daughters each own an American Girl doll. One of the dolls--I think this is Josephina--gets her tangled hair by doing the kinds of things that only American Girl dolls can do. A few months ago my sis-in-law posted on her family-friendly blog some photos demonstrating a technique to straighten out the dolls' hair. The process required soaking their hair in a solution, but the solution mustn't touch the doll's clothing or body. Thus the plastic bag.

When I saw the photos on her blog, I gasped! They were simply....ghastly. I made a comment to that effect on her post, but I'm not sure (and I haven't looked) whether the comment made the cut.

Taking her cue from her older sister, my wife in short order subjected Josephina to this procedure. When I saw the doll I once again gasped and added to the gasp my own version of a Edward Munch-inspired Scream.

The horror.

You know this much about me: Nothing says photo opportunity to me like a sight that draws out my inner Munch.

My only dilemma was whether to manipulate the photos to heighten their evil monstrosity. But in the end, I pretty much left them as is. They speak for themselves plenty well.


You're welcome.

Monday, May 04, 2009

tree in black and white

field, tree and fog

This is most decidedly not about death. Nope. Not at all. Noooooooooo way.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Wake up, horsey.

Enough with the death already!! (I'm being told).

I'm being told to move on to cheerier things. Or at least to less deceased things. My poor readers should not spend more time in NOLA cemeteries on this blog than I did in person during my visit. Nothing against NOLA. Or cemeteries. But come on, mb! that's what I'm being told. So before I move on (for now) I want to slip in just a few more death-inspired photos.

I like the composition, but the clarity is bad, drat it all. This time it's the camera's fault, not me. Or so I tell myself.

I didn't digitally alter this photo. I don't know if the green shading came from moss, or whether the lighting was bad, or if the camera is bad. Or what. I tried to ramp up the green effect to make it look more otherworldly, but it turns out that this photo just wants to stay as taken.

I like the composition, plus it has the benefit of featuring a hand. Which, as you well know, is always a good thing. I like pure composition, but if there's nothing representational going on in an image then one risks the possibility of creating decoration--a drapery design, or something resembling the perfectly vague and safe abstract corporate paintings created to blend in with the carpet or the furniture. True, this photo could blend in with carpet, but only I would like the carpet.

I recently looked at some of my earlier photos on the blog. I was struck by how many of my photos today are overly busy. I wanted to make a very simple photo with a limited color range and a simple composition. This is still kind of busy because I punched up the contrast a little and brought forward the marbling effect. Live and learn, I guess.

Again, I was going for mood here. Again, I was going for contemplative loneliness. I'm not sure what mood I actually captured. More on the contemplative side and less on the lonely side, I think. At least for me.

I'm a moody photographer. In every sense. 'Tis true. But even I am sometimes amazed at how non-cerebral my photos are and how they are all about is mood. I'd like to say I'd try something else, but I wonder whether that wouldn't be like saying, "from now on, I'll wear something other than 11 1/2 size shoes." I could say it, I suppose, but what would be the point? My feet size is what they is. I be what I be.